Arkansas Razorbacks Football

Arkansas Reportedly Makes Contract Offer to ESPN Analyst Jon Gruden

Apr 28, 2011; New York, NY, USA; ESPN analyst Jon Gruden during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
Ben ChodosCorrespondent IINovember 19, 2012

Arkansas is reportedly pursuing Jon Gruden to take over its football program and has made an offer to the former coach and current ESPN Analyst.   

Jim Harris of ArkansasSports360.com reported the news via Twitter:

My sources say Arkansas has made an offer to ESPN pro analyst Jon Gruden.

— Jim Harris(@jimharris360) November 19, 2012

The Razorbacks faced high expectations for this season after going 11-2 in 2011, capping off their campaign with a victory over Kansas State in the Cotton Bowl.

The team was immensely successful under Bobby Petrino, but this past offseason brought a significant amount of turmoil to the program when the former coach was fired.

A motorcycle accident involving Petrino and his mistress kicked off a saga that revealed the Razorbacks boss had hired the woman he was having an affair with and misled the University about his actions, as reported by ESPN.

John L. Smith took control of the program, and hope still remained as the team was ranked No. 10 in the AP preseason poll. But the Razorbacks lost four of their first five games and are currently 4-7.

It is no surprise that Arkansas is searching for a new coach, and Gruden is certainly one of the best available. He won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, but has not coached since the team fired him following the 2008 season.

Gruden was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders prior to his tenure with Tampa Bay and is currently an announcer for Monday Night Football. He was known for his intensity and work ethic as a coach, and that energy has transferred over into his career as a commentator.

After the Razorbacks' disastrous 2012 season, hiring Gruden would send a clear message that the school is committed to turning the program around.  

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